Pt 2: Letters - Our Friday hosts are always accomplished individuals and Sally Armstrong is no exception. She is a journalist, an author and a human rights activist. She will be the Friday Host of The Current this week and she joined Anna Maria in Toronto for this show.
Pt 3: Community Confidential - At the top of this part, we heard the voices of Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May. And in case you missed it, they've all taken up the mantle of working and middle class Canadians - no surprise given the level of anxiety about the state of our economy.
It's Thursday, September 18th.
After unveiling the Green Party's plan to legalize and tax marijuana, Elizabeth May apologized for never having smoked pot herself.
Currently ... Hang on. She apologized for NOT smoking pot. What is she high?
This is The Current.
The Passion of Palin
That was Sarah Palin, speaking at the Church of the Assembly of God in Wasilla, Alaska in June. The man she's talking about is Thomas Muthee, a pastor from Kenya. Back in 2005, when Sarah Palin was the Mayor of Wasilla and running to be the Governor of Alaska, Pastor Muthee paid a visit to the church she was attending and prayed for her - something she seems to think helped her cause.
But now that Governor Palin is also the Republican's Vice Presidential Candidate, reporters have started asking all kinds of questions about her past ... including her relationship with Pastor Muthee, a man who -- it turns out -- has made a name for himself as a witch hunter in Kenya.
Hannah Strange is one of those inquisitive reporters. She writes for the Times Online and she joined us from London, England.
Howard Bess has faced off with Sarah Palin many times over religion and politics. He's a retired American Baptist Minister and he blames Governor Palin and her churches for the difficulty he's had getting a book he wrote into stores and libraries. Howard Bess was in Palmer, Alaska.
A spokesperson for John McCain's campaign says that in the fall of 1996, Sarah Palin asked the director of the Wasilla Public Library how she would react to attempts to ban books. The spokesperson also says the questions were hypothetical and entirely appropriate because a year earlier, a patron had asked the library to remove an unspecified title. The spokesperson says Sarah Palin simply wanted to understand how these kinds of disputes were handled.
Palin's Religious Views
Sarah Palin's religious views clearly make some people a little anxious, but she's not alone in what she believes. An estimated 23 per cent of Americans identify themselves as evangelicals. Of course there's a wide range of opinions within those ranks. But for a significant minority of Americans, her views are well within the boundaries of reasonable debate.
So for some perspective on where Sarah Palin fits in that debate, I'm joined now by Chip Berlet. He's been studying the Christian Right in the United States for more than 20 years. He's a Senior Analyst with Political Research Associates and he was in Boston.
Our Friday hosts are always accomplished individuals and Sally Armstrong is no exception. She is a journalist, an author and a human rights activist. She will be the Friday Host of The Current this week and she joined Anna Maria in Toronto for this show.
It's a little known story from the Great Depression -- when tens of thousands of Americans and many Canadians, moved to Stalin's Russia. They were attracted to Russian society which looked -- on paper -- to promise jobs with security and access to health care and education.
But with Stalin's Great Terror in the late thirties that promise dissolved. Many ended up in the gulags and were worked to death.
Last week on The Current, author Tim Tzouliadis described the height of the terror.
Airing this interview prompted Anne Konrad in Toronto to write to us about her parents' experience. Her parents escaped the Gulag. They fled to Moscow in 1929 and begged for exit permits. Most of their siblings and many relatives and friends remained to experience the horrors of Stalinism -- to be arrested, executed, or sent into slave labour camps of the Gulag.
Anne Konrad has spent nearly 20 years tracking down her lost family. And Anna Maria reached her from her home in Toronto.
Our interview with Elisabeth Royte -- the author of Bottlemania, How water went on Sale and Why We Bought It -- also drew the attention of Nestle Waters Canada.
Nestle is the world's largest producer of bottled spring water. And we reached the president of Nestle Waters Canada, Gail Cosman. She was in Guelph, Ontario.
At the top of this part, we heard the voices of Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May. And in case you missed it, they've all taken up the mantle of working and middle class Canadians - no surprise given the level of anxiety about the state of our economy.
But while good-paying jobs, low taxes and good government programs are bread-and-butter issues for middle class families across the country, immigrant families often face additional financial challenges. So for a sense of the economic priorities in Canada's diverse ethnic and cultural communities, we've brought back our weekly "Community Confidential" panel.
Winnie Hwo is the News Director for the Chinese-language network Fairchild TV. She was in Vancouver. Nadia Zouaoui is a freelance journalist and a contributor to Radio Canada. She was in Montreal. And Anis Farooqui is the Editor of Voice Of Toronto, a news website that caters to South Asian Canadians.
We also brought in the voices of Cissy Yee, a mother in Richmond, BC; Nadia Kalathoor, a real-estate agent in Toronto; and Michael Haan from the University of Alberta.